Right now in the watch world blue and vintage go hand in hand, almost every house is offering their own version but to be honest few of them are the real deal.
There are many variables when a watch goes to market, the price could be a deal breaker, or perhaps the shade of blue is too bright, maybe the ''fauxtina'' is to beige, you get the point everything counts. I have been reviewing many offerings from Christopher Ward and one thing is certain, the quality of their products is always flawless, great movements which can be also COSC certified and together with lots of attention to detail, we have one of the best value packs offered by an UK company. Previously we reviewed the C65 Sandhurst which is also part of a series of watches approved by the UK ministry of defense and this time we got the diver, the C65 Dartmouth in (you guess it) a beautiful blue.
The Dartmouth is a modern/retro diver that takes inspiration from the 50's and 60's, legible markers and pointy hands inside a glass boxed sapphire crystal makes this watch a true charmer, below are our impressions.
The watch is 41mm in diameter, some might say that is a tad big for a retro inspired piece but I found it very well proportioned and comfortable not to mentioned slim as well.
The dial is a matte blue and contrast perfectly with all the white indicators, no beige markers, just a crisp white. The C65 it's so easy to read that made me wonder why divers today have round hour indicators. A thin black aluminum bezel completes the vintage aesthetics with a reassuring click on every turn, no back play, precise and ready to dive. The movement is a Sellita SW200 which has been COSC certified, after all this is a tool watch approved by a public entity so precision is key again.
On the wrist:
As mentioned before the watch sits perfectly on my 6.25 inch wrist, its flat with only 11.55 mm thickness and a lug to lug distance of 47.1mm. These proportions are easy to pull even if you have a smaller wrist than mine. We mentioned the sapphire crystal and is a delight to see that distortion, I cannot recall a warmer sapphire in watches at this price range, it really looks like acrylic and that it’s a good thing. The Dartmouth comes on a variety of straps, ours was equipped with a vintage brown leather and I know that people are not keen to put such a cool diver into this kind of strap but, the camel color with the blue dial makes this watch even more good looking that it already is, there is an option for an hybrid strap but maybe silicone won't go as well with a vintage look.
How many blue vintage inspired divers have we seen lately? Many right? But I bet none of them look as cool as this C65 Dartmouth, the amount of hidden details makes me think how much Christopher Ward has evolved over the years, brushed and polished surfaces catch the light perfectly while a beautiful engraving with the badge of the British Military is hidden for only you to know,
since it's conception Christopher Ward aim is to provide quality pieces at affordable prices but I am amazed what they can deliver at a price just under 800 GBP. To me it's great when you strap a watch and you cannot spot any mistakes especially at macro level, there are no corners being cut and right now, the brands is enjoying the reputation of delivering one if not the best value watches in a price bracket where many brands compete, the difference is that the watches offered by Christopher Ward seem an enthusiast product and not so much a marketing exercise.
More Information at www.christopherward.com
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